Park City

SKI - - WEST - —Jeremy Pugh

Rid­dle: How do you eat an ele­phant? This Zen koan is help­ful when vis­it­ing the largest re­sort in the U.S., which, last sea­son, shrugged off the ves­tiges of its for­mer two halves (Park City Moun­tain Re­sort and Canyons) and be­gan to feel at peace with its ele­phan­tine di­men­sions. Still, the re­sort’s size has a way of wa­ter­ing down reader plau­dits and slides Park City into the mid­dle of the pack. “Sprawl­ing re­sorts give up some­thing to char­ac­ter,” one reader laments. Op­ti­mists point out that all that acreage of­fers re­wards to the in­trepid seeker (“It’s easy to find ter­rain with no crowds”), while pes­simists de­cry “too many peo­ple!” Po­lar­ity, it seems, is the price of pop­u­lar­ity. Mean­while, par­ents love the kid-friendly vibe (No. 11) and de­spite some peren­nial grous­ing about prices, din­ing gets high marks at No. 10. Nav­i­gat­ing all that acreage re­quires pa­tience to scope out hid­den-in-plain-sight gems like the Town Lift (“great to ski into town at the end of the day, just steps to restau­rants, bars, mu­sic”), se­cret pow­der stashes off the Day­break lift, and the steep thrills of Jupiter Bowl. So, how do you eat an ele­phant? One bite at a time.

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